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NCAAF · 14 days ago

Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Preview: Expect Physicality



Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Preview: Expect Physicality

In a thrilling inter-conference clash, the Big Ten’s very own Minnesota is set to take on ACC’s North Carolina. With a 3:30 kickoff in Chapel Hill, college football fans from both sides are eagerly waiting to see which team reigns supreme.

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Initially, the FanDuel Sportsbook favored North Carolina with a -6.5-point spread. But as the game approaches, the Tar Heels’ favorability has swelled to -7.5, which suggests increased confidence in their prowess. With a game total set at 49.5, what can we expect from this matchup?

Minnesota, often described as a team that “wins ugly,” has demonstrated a knack for grinding out results. Their first two performances weren’t offensive masterclasses but proved their mettle in getting the job done. In contrast, North Carolina, spearheaded by the dynamic Drake Maye, has a reputation for a more expansive and thrilling game plan.

Recalling last week’s dramatic game between UNC and Appalachian State, the Tar Heels had a steep 19.5-point spread. Most pundits deemed it too hefty, predicting a close contest. And indeed, history repeated itself. After an exhilarating game two years prior that ended 63-61 with heart-stopping lead changes in the fourth quarter, this recent bout also didn’t disappoint. It concluded in an overtime thriller, 40-34, in favor of UNC. However, App State covered as a 19.5-point underdog.

The Tar Heels showcased their mettle in their season opener against South Carolina, particularly highlighting their physical dominance. Such prowess, previously unseen during Mack Brown’s tenure, was exemplified by their nine sacks against Spencer Rattler. Many expected UNC to continue this trend against App State, but that expectation fell short.

Enter Minnesota. Renowned for their physicality, especially at the line of scrimmage, they boast one of the most formidable offensive lines in the Big Ten, if not all, of college football. Given this strength, the line movement towards UNC seems perplexing. Now, with the Golden Gophers at more than a touchdown underdog at 7.5 points, they seem the smarter bet. Additionally, considering their stingy defense, which currently ranks as the third-best scoring defense in the nation, allowing just 16 points across two games, the game’s total of 49.5 leans towards the under.

As the Golden Gophers face off against the Tar Heels, expect a battle of physical prowess against offensive flair. And if recent trends are anything to go by, Minnesota just might have the edge.

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